The Guernsey County Board of Developmental Disabilities awarded the Cambridge City School District with a service and mini grant totaling $156,793.69. The GCBDD also awarded Mid-East with a mini grant for $5,471.03. This funding is part of the grant program the GCBDD has established to meet the educational needs of children with developmental disabilities in community schools. Since 2014, the GCBDD has distributed more than 3 million dollars to local school boards through grants.
“Beginning in the late 90’s, our board began to see that parents wanted their children to be included in the school districts that their other siblings attended. As the census at Golden Rule School continued to decline, we started to meet with leaders in the districts to see how we could help with “value added” services outside what the districts are required through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).” said Kellie Brown, GCBDD Superintendent. ”In 2014, GCBDD launched its first grant to the school districts to meet the needs of students with developmental disabilities. Grants in the past years have included mini grants, service grants and transportation grants. It has been so exciting to see how the districts creatively use the funds that once only provided sheltered education to a fixed number of children, to now provide education in an inclusive manner where children of all abilities learn together.”
“We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Guernsey County Board of Developmental Disabilities,” Cambridge Schools Superintendent Dan Coffman said. “We share a common goal to provide a quality education to every student in our district no matter what their developmental needs. The support provided by the Board of DD is vital to our ability to reach that goal.”
GCBDD also provides supports to students who qualify for services and the school systems they attend. SSAs help in many ways like attending IEP meetings to help ensure individuals’ needs are being met, facilitating communication between school and home, and processing local financial support or waiver funds to purchase sensory equipment, communication devices, and in-home care for children in Guernsey County.
For Cambridge Schools, the service grant funds a behavioral consultant, two behavioral therapists, trainings for five educators at the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence Conference and funding to pay for their substitutes. The mini grant will be used to purchase assistive technology supports that allows a person with a disability to work around their area of challenge and helps the user to accomplish a task more independently.
“The Cambridge School District appreciates the ongoing support from the Guernsey County Board of Developmental Disabilities that ensures our students with disabilities have equal access to a quality education,” Coffman added.